Saturday, May 12, 2007

Buzzed about blogging

Badger's post on what it feels like to have tourette's disorder has been shortlisted for Post of the Week!

Well done Badger!

Just 8 posts made it to the shortlist this week - so to be amongst those is a huge achievement.

A friend of ours recently said to Badger "Blogging is boring", and I'm still blown away by that comment. It reminded me of when I talked to the team at the BBC's Imagine programme about blogging. There was a wonderful moment in which they suddenly realised that it was not about websites or technology or news or reporting or personal diaries - it was about relationships. I introduced them to the wonderful Natalie of Blaugustine, and watched their confusion and hostility towards bloggers melt into warmth and humour and understanding.

My blog brings me into relationship with many lovely people, but also facilitates communication between different parts of myself. I can no longer work with the concept of 'real life' being outside of my online relationships - surely these are real lives being lived and expressed regardless of the medium? Instead I have settled on a notion of 'whole-life' friends. Those who are part of my blogging community, with whom I also meet up in the flesh.

In just 34 days time, Caroline's book, In Search of Adam, will be published in hardback (yes - hardback! - that's for serious grown-up writers only!) and a whole bunch of us bloggy friends will be gathering together at the book launch event (details to emerge soon says Cas) to support her and celebrate her achievements. We won't be there out of obligation. We won't be there to network. We will be there because we love Cas and believe in her. How gorgeous is that?

Currently, we are running a little treasure hunt over on the In Search of Adam Map - which now has almost 200 pins in position! The treasure hunt clues lead you to the blogs of people on the map, and whilst it's really just for fun, we also hope that people will discover new blogs, new friends and new relationships whilst they are hunting. One of my most valuable bloggy finds recently has been lovely Maht at The Moon Topples, who has been running a very community spirited Short Fiction competition.

I haven't written a fiction story since I was at primary school. The idea of doing it terrified me. But I did do it, and I enjoyed it. As Maht says: if you like your entry, you are a winner. Wise words. I do like my entry (resisting inner voice that says I sound like a conceited wanker saying that). I liked the process and I'm content with the result - I don't think it's brilliant, but it answered my own questions. Simultaneously, I've discovered that someone on the other side of the world has read my whole NaNoWriMo story. I wrote something like 15,000 words of the beginning of a book last November, before illness interrupted me. Prompted by Natalie, I chucked it up online fairly recently in a secret location under a pseudonym, and I have a stat counter on there too. I guess I was interested to know what the response of any unconnected stranger who stumbled upon it might be ... and then somebody did.

I don't know who this person is. I know that they are in thailand, and I know that they found my blog simply by clicking on the 'next random blog' type link. Then, over 4 days, they made 3 visits of about an hour each, and read the whole thing.

Isn't that kind of exciting?

Not in an 'omg I could be an author!' kind of way. More in a 'wow, somebody has digested my thoughts' kind of way.

Of course, it's always possible that they were simply trying to learn English, and sitting with a dictionary in hand trying to work out what my peculiar turn of phrase meant ;)

But still. I'm buzzed. Buzzed by it all - Badger's post of the week shortlisting, Cas's book launch, the Map that keeps joining us to more wonderful people, Maht's short fiction comp, the stranger in Bangkok who has read my book, the fact that a whole bunch of my lovely blogging friends did a group meditation all around the world at 2pm on Wednesday as I was going into surgery, plus, above, the most beautiful flowers I've ever had - sent by the gorgeous Ms Melancholy.


I am a happy little blogger.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a non blogging blogger I know how real the connections that can be made through this part of my life have been and are. Like all other areas of my life though it takes time, commitment and concentration to make anything spark or connect and I think the real connections come when people step over the lines that others draw and take the time to say hello with a (0) or word.
Blogging boring!? many a post of mine was tetering if not falling fast in to that territory but never the act as it's all about discovery and exploration and even realisation and that is never boring just beyond my capacity for the time being.

12 May, 2007 16:26  
Blogger Caroline said...

And after we all meet, it lifts the connections onto a different level. I am thrilled and most excited to be meeting you in hardly any days time. Thrilled honey.


12 May, 2007 17:40  
Blogger sheepish said...

I couldn't have said it better myself. I only started blogging this year and I'm having a ball.
And I'm so pleased you wrote a story for the competition, and as long as you are happy with it that is all that counts.

13 May, 2007 10:32  
Blogger Ms Melancholy said...

Oh Stray, I managed to miss this post yesterday! Lovely. The flowers look fab. And soon we will all meet. Life is sweet.

13 May, 2007 19:58  

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